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Pleading Proverbs 26:4, 5

Pleading Proverbs 26:4 & 5 (NASB)

            That’s it!... Enough is enough!!... After years of not pleading either of the cognate statements in Proverb 26:4 & 5 for the incredulously nonsensical statements made by, particularly, SDA Preachers, who could, and should, know better, this is literally the ‘drop that makes my cup overflow!’ It is almost the default stance of SDA Preachers, in an attempt to address difficult/controversial passages to engage in a “smoke and mirrors” approach, (at best), or use diversionary, denigrating tactics all in order to not have to admit that they really do not have an answer. The other option is to try to “dumb down” a discussion (ala: ‘the square root of 2 is simply 1’) so that the involved, core issues may actually never surface. In the light of the many available and accessible Adventist Colleges and Universities within the Denomination, resorting to such “dumbing down” attitude has absolute no acceptable rationalization, excuse or justification.
            The particular passage here at issue is 2 Cor 5:6-8. The “absent from the body; at home with the Lord” passage (explained below), -literally, in most Christian circles, the non-silenced, blaring “death knell” of the SDA Belief on the State of the Dead. It has been amusing to hear SDA Preacher frantically try to rationalize this passage into aligning with the belief of death as a sleep. Along these lines, and even more loudly laughable is the arbitrary and hoodwinkingly diversionary counter-argument that ‘this passage is saying this because in reality, when a Christian dies, their next conscious thought is being in the presence of the Lord’!?! (e.g., Doug Batchelor [see e.g. this 10/30/2010 sermon (video) (audio) at 34:18-35:32; cf. here 10/22/2011 [07:36-10:24;  -and there, of course, and that indifferently so, his “alter ego” in that “snazzy charade mutely implied that this was ‘the most unchallengeable countering “thought” he had ever heard on that passage’]; Stephen Bohr here at 48:10][1]). That is all like trying to sell a broken down used car by giving it a new snazzy book cover, I mean, a fresh coat of paint! In fact, in the light of the literal “holes” that are still present, and quite visible, in the SDA “rescue boat” of teachings, as pointed out in this post, and copiously elsewhere in this blog, the supposed necessary “evangelistic techniques” that are patently taught at SDA Evangelism Training Schools are much more in line, and on par, with sophistry and con(fidence) artist’s scheme! And to know that all this is being ultimately caused by a reverential deference and worship of Capitalism and the Economy ala, John 2:16 & Matt 21:13! I have patiently, but still painfully, endured hearing such nonsense for years, but this latest encountered tactic/rational is really too much. Philip Sizemore, at a GYC 2009 seminar, by his statement [00:11ff], has effectively suggested that the way to “address” (i.e., not actually “answer”) this most problematic passage is actually to use a reverse, denigrating psychology on the person presenting this argument by asking them ‘where is it found in the Bible?’ Since, according to him, most people presenting this argument actually do not know where it is, snarkily quasi-explicating that they are really Biblically illiterate and are only parroting common counter-arguments. Then it is suggested to proceed in skirting this passage by demonstrating that you yourself actually know exactly where it is located by turning to 2 Cor 5:8, and that would/should so impress them, along with an added good dose of kindness (as if that is any sort of replacement for truth), that they would become disarmed and presumably accept whatever explanation you can then conjecturally present after that, if actually any, as he himself did not give one. Also, according to him, that “overmastering demonstration” alone should/would cause the problematic question itself to suddenly vanished. And one has to pay up to $4850 for such moronic and substantively deficient Evangelism training and advice (!?!) (which is indeed a product of the general: ‘hypnotic, mind/methods over (subject-)matter, ‘master Jedi-like’ approach for personal evangelism adopted and taught by this particular lay evangelism institute). Talk about snake-oil salesmen, nay, Biblically speaking, “extorting money-changers”, in the Church! (“Kudos” to David Asscherick of the ARISE Institute for realizing and denouncing, -see this 2013 sermon of his, the wrongness in such ‘artificial/vacuous’ approaches; -Relatedly, see a sample of the ARISE two-week “Boot Camp” program courses online here.)
            The other related approach I’ve heard in the preparation of lay people to give Bible studies is ‘not to worry about problematic passages because most people do not even know about them. So if one does not mention them, then these people won’t even know to bring them up.’ [e.g., Mark Howard - Evangelism School Training Seminar]. That is really curt and cute, and may be plausibly acceptable to some, however, given that this training seminar was given to people in the U.S. where ca. 80% of the population is Christian, even if nominally, thus implying that ca. 80% of the people accepting to study the Bible may be Christians (and indeed this “nominality” may be the reason why even these Christians may be more ready to accept to have Bible Studies, than an Atheist, or other non-Christian), then what happens when, or if, these “pupils”, e.g., ‘tell you exactly where that cited passage is???’, and/or present what you have just taught them to a non-Adventist, Christian friend of theirs who may be more knowledgeable of the Bible than them, or even quite probably, to their own local pastor. What will more than likely happen is that they’ll then be presented with what you actually wouldn’t address, because you couldn’t, and you would have just orchestrated that another person will be convinced that SDA’s really cannot truly defend their teachings in the light of the whole testimony of the Bible. Even worst, assuming that you would have succeeded in, effectively, so tricking this person into accepting what you had partially presented as a whole truth, and they become baptized SDA members, but really only to become, a short time later, as is most often the case, one of the ca. 1000 people who leave the Church daily, and that, more than likely because someone has since then shown them what, again, you wouldn’t address, because you couldn’t. Now is that the way to conduct the dependent, solemn work of God?!?[2]
            Somehow SDA Preachers don’t seem to, or want to, realize that other Christian do not accept our teachings as true not in blind rebellion of the many texts that exists in support of them, but instead because of the handful, but weighty, passages that seem to clearly oppose them, especially New Testament passages. Still no proper effort is made to seek to precisely understand and explain these passage and that is because such an “accomplishment” would actually take some deeper Biblical study and research skills that quite self-evidently members in the Ministerial Department as a gross whole (i.e., pastors, evangelist, teachers, scholars) either do not have and/or have not shared/imparted due to the existing systemic dysfunction that exists throughout Church between the (relatively) learned and the unlearned. In the light of this shallow and so moronic reason, it has really been an amusing pleasure to watch even this cancerous tumor  spread throughout the Church leadership and also the laity. This persistent, entrenched, dichotomous psychological curtain between, effectively, Biblical scholarship and the laity is really because either side here is too engrossed in idolizing their respectively attained, self-sufficient, spiritual knowledge where it then looks with indifferent, prideful “anathemic” disdain upon the other side. When people indeed so obstinately want to live outside of Godly and Biblical principles, the only option that one is left with is stand back and watch them foolishly, repeatedly, forcefully pound themselves onto their brick wall. (Ezek 8:17-18; Isa 6:8-13).
            Notwithstanding the personal gleeful pleasure here, this has now really gone over acceptable bounds: i.e., ‘seeking to reverse-psychologically blame innocent and honest others who have valid and genuine objections, because of your own general stupidity, and, relative Biblical illiteracy and deficiency. That is therefore now why I plead Proverbs 26:4 & 5, though still reservedly, to this development. The following is therefore a succinct exposition towards this ends.

2 Corinthians 5:8
            Read the context of 2 Cor 5:6-8, which actually begins back in chapter 4, and you will see that Paul is throughout metaphorically speaking of the “Christian Walk”, i.e., living in this life while being clothed with Christ’s righteousness (2 Cor 5:2-4; cf. Rev 3:2-4; 16:15), and seeking to remain reconciled to God. The word that is translated as “absent” in this passage Gk. ekdëmoumen (2 Cor 5:6, 8, 9) does not mean a “physical non-presence” per se, but instead is the antonym of endëmoumen which means “to be at home.” Ekdëmoumen [Strongs #1553] means instead to ‘soujourn away from a home.’ The Greek word for a physical absence is apeimi [Strongs #548], and is indeed repeatedly used by Paul for this clear meaning (1 Cor 5:3; 2 Cor 10:1, 11; 13:2, 10; Phi 1:27; Col 2:5). If Paul wanted in this passage to speak of His soul/spirit being absent from his physical body and being in the presence of God, then he would have used apeimi as, based upon His other uses of the word (see 1 Cor 5:3; Phi 1:27; Col 2:5), this is indeed the word that best expresses an understanding that would be in line with such an understanding, if a duality of body and an existing “soul” was an actual Biblical/Theological fact.
            Now while the metaphorical “home” being spoken about in 2 Cor 5 is a representation of the physical body (=“tent” ~“dwelling” 2 Pet 1:13-14), Paul emphasis with this illustration is on ‘living this life while being “at home” in our earthly, fallen human nature vs. advancing in our Christian walk while sojourning away from our fallen nature.’ He is furthermore saying that even though both states of earthly walks may, respectively, become an inevitability or an actuality, and he himself prefers to engage in this Christian walk while striving to remain in sojourn away from the pull of his human nature. He then says that it should still be the Christians ambition, whether he is able to walk the Christian walk while remaining “trapped” in his human nature (2 Cor 10:3; Gal 2:20; Rom 8:4), or by having been able to steadily sojourn away from it (-as was the case with the incarnated/"in-fleshed" but sinless Jesus (Rom 1:3; John 1:14; Rom 9:5; Heb 2:14; 5:7; 2 John 1:7), to still seek be pleasing to God because we are all going to have to appear before the judgement seat of Christ and receive the reward (i.e., answer for) all of the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:9, 10).
            Therefore, as a recap here, this passage is not at all dealing with a State in Death, but the Christian’s constant dealing with their fallen human nature, as Paul strongly advocates, by striving to be victorious over that also present, less optimal, sinful reality and its downward pull, (see Rom 7:14-25) Indeed how many believers have, even non-prematurely/accidentally (cf. Ecc 7:17), died while still in the midst of that ‘natures “war” against sin’, which is exhaustively quite broad (e.g., James 4:17|Matt 25:45-46). But, like Paul their life would still be marked by a steadfast fighting back, with genuine penitence when/as needed, thus insuring them the obtainment of forgiveness for such shortcomings. (1 John 1:5-10)...for the believers does, in “good courage”, and through the “(down paid) pledged” sustainment of God’s Spirit (2 Cor 5:5; =2 Cor 1:21-22; cf. Rom 8:23-27), engage towards the ‘perfected righteousness’ of this walk ‘through faith, and not through sight’ (2 Cor 5:6) =Rom 8:1-39.
            In other words, Paul was, as also discussed in here: ‘groaningly’ (2 Cor 5:4|Rom 8:23, 26) longing for that day (=Phil 3:21) when he will have a body/flesh that will not have been tainted with sin, and thus which will fully and consistently harmonize (cf. 1 Cor 9:27) with his received “born from above” spirit.

            It was a simple as that SDA Preachers! Your diversionary smoke can be blown away, and your mirrors discarded!

1 Thessalonians 4:14
            This passage is another sustained “Death Knell” to the SDA teaching on the State of the Dead for in all translations, it seems to clearly states that ‘Jesus will bring those who have died and gone to heaven with Him, from Heaven, at His return,’  implying that, as the popular false belief is in Christian circles, that Christians immediately goes to Heaven at their death. This opening statement then goes on to pivotally affect the remainder of the statements made by Paul in 1 Thess 4:15-18 as then it is commonly understood in:

1 Thess 4:15 - ‘those who remain alive until Christ returns will thus, not be going to heaven before those who have died, -for those dead righteous ones are already there.’
1 Thess 4:16 - as generally, commonly (wrongly) believed, and as 1 Thess 4:14 “clearly” reinforces, ‘the bodies of the “souls” in heaven will be raised up then, and those “souls” will then be reunited with those bodies then on earth’
1 Thess 4:17 - ‘then the living, and newly, bodily-reunited saints will be caught up together in the air’
1 Thess 4:18 - therefore the Christians who believe this are then still, and actually further, “comforted” by their prior belief that: ‘the “souls” of the righteous dead immediately go to heaven when they die, leaving their physical body behind’; especially as the resurrected bodies of the redeemed will quite manifestly be once again formed out of the dirt of this very Earth, (as Man is to eventually return to live on the planet for the rest of eternity), as they perfectly (i.e., Gen 1:31's “very good”) were at the beginning (cf. Gen 2:7; 3:19b; Psa 104:29; see the comments in this discussion post); cited as Biblical corroboration. And that belief is not dispelled, as commonly attempted by SDA preachers, even if “personally-experienced/encountered”, by ‘mocking funeral parlor anecdotes’, because if that false belief was, dichotomically, (i.e., immortal soul vs. physical body), actually the Biblical Truth, then God could easily make it so.
(And while it is stated from this Bible and SOP exposition, by me, NJK Project, starting here and in the included links therein, that ‘Christian martyrs are later resurrected and taken to Heaven at various collective times before the final (general) resurrection (John 5:28-29; Rev 20:4-6)’, as pointedly stated at the end of the posting here, it is not seen/believed from EW 18.2 that those martyrs return with Christ to earth at His glorious Second Coming appearance.)

            And so, again here hearing SDA preachers trying to rationalize away this passage with their patent odd, disturbing, blatantly nonsensical and/or exegetically deficient arguments has nonetheless been an entertaining sideshow in itself. Even foolingly “valiant” attempts, such as the recent one by John Bradshaw in the It is Written Revelation Today series (01-31-2012 [mp4] [54:32-56:00]), with its glib “contextualizing” approach, as both SDA Preachers, and the by now, conditionedly, dull/shallow-thinking, Church membership ignoramusly prefer, (which is why the grossly inaccurate KJV, and even the still deficient NKJV translations are so popular amongst them), -indeed as spuriously normatively encouraged by the Church’s leadership (cf. a related NAD response in this document p. 279, end of paragraph 1), for: ‘if it, selectively/excisingly so, makes perfect sense to them, then it must be the incontrovertible, concrete truth’, all falls flat on its face in the light of the fact that the indeed ‘controlling contradicting statement’ in 1 Thess 4:14 is indifferently being, falsely simplistically, glibly ignored. The Great Controversy reality, is that such “cotton-candy”, however fluffy, insubstantive and empty-calorie arguments will not withstand the all out final assault against the Truth which the Devil is no doubt preparing. And even in regions where people would preferentially not have been presented with deeply rooted Biblical Truths, but merely the typical shallow, surface arguments such as these ones, and that, not even by their local pastor after they have become Church members, you can count on people of learning on the “opposing” side then to quite successfully expose those fatal flaws and deficiencies in those glib SDA arguments. Those “False Shepherds” in the SDA Church (=Ezek 34:1-22) who, even if they have ‘drunk of the clear waters prefer to foul the rest with their feet’ (Ezek 34:17-19 = EW 36.2), as, as also discussed in this post, typically/typologically did the corrupt leadership of the Church during the Third Church Era (Rev 6:5-6), will surely reap their just punishing reward for having thus slothfully and indifferently caused the eternal loss of millions, including within their own SDA Church circles, having also caused many to accept what is actually the Full Mark of the Beast. And thus will be fulfilled with them, their, as revealed in this post at the Sixth Plague, seamlessly inclusive, tier, third-part of the final Babylon power’s “False Prophet” role, as prophesied in GC 654.4-655.4!!
            Now, having, free of charge warningly stated this (=Ezek 33:1-19), back to the passage at hand. Arriving at its concrete Truth is not something that a little applied scholarly intellect, that most SDA preacher are suppose to have had (literally) acquired, with M.Div and TH.D appended after the names of some further qualified ones.
            Again, succinctly explained here, first of all, a key to understanding this verse is in the fact that the word that is translated here as “bring” actually literally means “to lead” (Grk. ago). While it may connote the meaning of “bringing” something, this “bringing” is always done through a “leading.” Secondly, the prepositional expression “with” (Grk. syn) is grammatically also classified as a dative in the Greek, which can function in Greek syntax as an “Instrumental of Measure” (Brooks & Winbery, Syntax NT Greek, 45-46), here expressing the meaning of “in addition to...”. The Instrumental also compares two related points having degrees of difference between them, and/or separated by an interval of time. Based on these key points and other aspects of the original text, a proper translation of this passage shows that it is literally saying:

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will lead, through [Grk. dia] Jesus, those who have fallen asleep, in addition to [similarly having led] Him [in the past].”

            So what Paul was saying in statement was that the Thessalonian believers did not have to so worry about those who had fallen asleep (i.e., died) before Christ’s return because in the same way that God had led Jesus Christ through death, He will then, at the resurrection of the last day, in the same way, lead these sleeping saints back to life through the already risen Jesus Christ. (cf. 1 Cor 15: 22-23)

            Again here, nothing that a little applied study and proper exegesis cannot do. No need for spurious, so-called “evangelistic/soul-winning” peripheral tactics and psychological techniques. (-Perfect case in point, and quite representative enough, (i.e., of the best that SDA pastors/evangelists typical can, or rather, prefer/choose, to (merely) do): the, manifestly deliberately, (-for whatever base, false reason, -but most likely inherently out of scholastic ignoramusness), bumbling, a-syntactical, cognitively dissonant, “used-car-salesman”, cockamamy, hoodwinking/snookering, vacuous “effort” by Stephen Bohr on 01-11-2014 here (at 01:26:39-01:31:29) to try to explain this passage, indeed, “for whatever irrational reason” (=John 3:10), without making any mention of the incontrovertibly involved exegetical/syntactical points&issues addressed above that are required in order to arrive at the objectively verified interpretation and truth.)

           As they say, and due to the present dysfunctional state of ecclesiastical affairs, ‘there is plenty more where this came from’; nonetheless such “exegetical exactitude” is still presently quite accessible and obtainable by any who will bother to actually do the work!

John 11:25-26
            For a exegetical explanation of what is actually said in, pointedly John 11:26, see the discussion and cited links stated starting here.

Luke 16:19-31
           Christ’s parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus has been a prominently cited reason why most Christians believe in conscious life after death, however succinctly said here, it is hard to believe that Jesus endorsed the Greco-Roman mythology of Hades. Then why did He make such pervasive thematic mention of it in this parable? A simple answer can be understood when the main point which Jesus was trying to make with this parable (Luke 16:31) is rightly held as the paramount/controlling idea for this parable. (Cf. in this post)
           It was not unlike Christ to use a fictitious scenario/story to convey his teaching points, all the while maintaining His justly desired veiling of the pointed truth for hearers who were of bad faith (Matt 13:10-16). The problem with this specific truth of ‘the Jews being in danger of being condemned by God for their haughty and neglectful attitude and actions towards the poor,’ was that speaking it in a parable would have to involve “unveilable” and readily understandable elements and characters according to the Jewish/Biblical theological beliefs, such as: the judgement at the end of time, God being that judge, etc. The parable in a straightforward context would also go against the belief of the Jews that death was an unconscious sleep. So it was then in the Greco-Roman teaching on Hades, (as basically reflected in the famous “Discourse on Hades”, -which, contrary to a common assumption/belief/thesis (cf. here), may not have been written by Josephus, but rather, initially, by a non-Christian (“Greek”), and then later emended and embellished by a Christian, moreover, circularly enough, drawing many elements in Christ’s parable in Luke 16:19-31, manifestly confusedly thinking that Christ had didactically expressed it.), ruled by the, namesake, god of the “underworld” and, pertinently enough, “riches,” and which was a place of conscious life after death and torment, with a possibility of returning to the realm of the living and interacting with them, that Jesus found the best fictional backdrop in which to literally dissimulate probably his most pointed teaching and warning, especially in the light of the soon to follow, greatest miracle in the raising of Lazarus, which He evidently was Divinely made aware ahead of time would transpire.

           So in summary, this parable was only used by Jesus (1) because the Jewish teaching on the involved issues could not be used to make teaching point and warning He wanted to make, and (2) also it allowed Him to make this most pointed warning to the rebellious Jews in His still desired “mysterious” way.* 

* As an example, if I want to give a similar “veiled”, (and that also through seeming mere humor), warning to SDA’s about being worshipfully materialistic, I could reach into “Babylon’s” belief and make my point through a “Saint Peter at the gate” joke puzzledly asking people why they had packed “pavement” (i.e., gold) for their move to Heaven. I certainly do not believe several elements in that joke, but it best gets my point across, including variously concealedly, i.e., especially for those, who like the Pharisees in Christ’s time, probably superficially objected to Christ’s point here because it involved several elements which, (ironically (Luke 16:31), -and perhaps deliberately so by Jesus) they knew were not according to the “Law and Prophets”.

Revelation 6:9-11
            As fully discussed in this posting, Biblical revelations reveal the “mystery” that those who die a martyr’s death actually receive a special reward of, -unlike other saved people who had normatively died, a soon-after-their-martyrdom resurrection, and are then taken to Heaven. So these ‘“souls” under that altar’, with a “soul” actually being a living, thus self-conscient, person are martyrdom victims from, pointedly the “crusading ministry” of the Medieval Church, (see in here at Fifth Seal section), who are now still clamoring for God to avenge them.

Philippians 1:21-26
[See contextualizing comment in this post.]

Colossians 2:16-17
            As there were many Special/Feast days in Old Testament Israel that were to be observed as the Seventh Day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:8-11; cf. Gen 2:2, 3) was, by being "a holy convocation" and/or "doing no laborious work", namely: Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:7, 8); Feast of Weeks Sabbaths (Lev 23:15, 16); Waving of Firstfruits (Lev 23:20, 21); Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:24-25); Day of Atonement (Lev 16:31; 23:27-32); Feast of Booths (Lev 23:34-36); (cf. Sabbatical Year (Lev 25:2-6ff)), then the mention here of ‘sabbath days (plural) which are shadows and type of Christ' is a specific reference to these ‘complete rest' days stipulated in the Law of Moses. Their observance is indeed optional in the New Covenant (See ‘Feast Books' below. This website also has interesting information, e.g., a possible OT background for this statement in Ezek 45:17. Indeed these ceremonial rituals now cannot, since this Messiah has come (cf. Gal 2:15-21), no longer serve to ‘tutoringly guide’ (Gal 3:19-26) the sinner into cleansing the ‘handwritten certificate of record of debt for sins, (-distinctly pointed out by the Law (Rom 3:20) chiefly derived from the foundational Ten Commandments (Rom 7:7-13)), that was against them’ (Col 2:14-15).) See more on this passage, and other ones about the Sabbath in this post.

Racial Slavery In the End?!?
            In this 2009 Campmeeting seminar [at Seminar #5 13:3-21:40ff], the Religious Liberty director of the Michigan Conference, Jerry Finneman, made the claim that he believed that slavery would be revived as in pre- U.S. Civil War days in the end based on statements in the SOP such as this one which says in 1895 that:

"Slavery will again be revived in the Southern States; for the spirit of slavery still lives. Therefore it will not do for those who labor among the colored people to preach the truth as boldly and openly as they would be free to do in other places. Even Christ clothed His lessons in figures and parables to avoid the opposition of the Pharisees." (Spalding & Magan Collection, p. 21 and 2 MR #153, pp. 299-300)

            Finneman further added that he firmly believes that this would (first) indeed be in the form of racial slavery. Although he was immediately, rightly corrected by someone in the audience who pointed out that this SOP statement should be understood in a less literal way then when it was stated in the context of the late19th century, i.e., it should now be seen as potentially economic slavery, Finneman confidently persisted to hold on to his literal and racial view. At the base of this statement are a panoply of Theological, Prophetical (i.e., the SOP) and Exegetical fallacies detrimentally adhered to by many SDA Preachers. The “Theological” fallacy is from not understanding, as explained in this post, (see especially in its Note #8) that God plans/fashions  and does not “know” the future (Isa 46:9-11) and here had fully planned to effectuate the Second Coming during the days of the EGW generation of SDA’s , i.e., sometime soon after the crucial 1888 Message. However the, relatively, gross failings of that most privileged generation postponed this wanted, and planned for, end. Of course the Believer who thinks that the future both concretely exists and is known (i.e., by God) cannot really see nor understand that God would plan something that would not come to pass as previously stated, especially Final Events and the Second Coming. The literal fulfillment of these predictions greatly depended on the advance of the Church at large. So now various empty explanations are given to try to resolve the volume of, specifically here, SOP prophetic statements that otherwise are all (surfacely excusably) seen as gross false prophecies (see “Prediction #8”).
            Secondly, the (SOP) “Prophetical” fact is that EGW, like all other Biblical prophets was given many prophetic statements for, pertinently, her time. With the Second Coming not occurring as Divine planned in the late 19th century, this particular statement on a ‘revived Southern slavery’ was also not literally fulfilled. However it is not at all preposterous, as some would denounce, that: if the end had unravelled in those days and Sunday Laws were fully enacted, that racial slavery would indeed be easily and justly/logically, fully revived by these Southern states who had vexatiously replaced oppressive physical slavery with marginalizing psychological racial segregation,[3] which indeed ‘unabatedly, strongly lived on’ until the late 1960's! Along these lines of ‘Sunday Laws involving slavery’, EGW also stated in the Great Controversy (p. 608) that:

 As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems  impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God's fear and love are removed.            
           
            Keep in mind here that EGW is not writing for what we falsely, circularly assume to be 2010 and/or onwards, but for the late 19th century, yet, as with truly inspired prophetic statements, that fact does not lessen the future effective, if not full/literal, fulfillment of this predictions. As the same interjecting audience member of Finneman seminar had pointed out, this SOP statement should be now understood to involve various forms of economical slavery, however Finneman wanted to insist on a ‘literal and racial’ view, and that in then ‘both the Northern and Southern parts of the U.S.’ The fact of the matter that makes this SOP statement fully realizable even if racism is not involved is that all slavery is essentially purely for economical purposes, and since humans normally/defaultly do not allow themselves to be subjugated to other humans, either physical or psychological force has to be used to effectuate these enslaving bonds. That is why, e..g,  today children are successfully made to work in sweatshop; people such as illegal immigrants, are forced into prostitutional slavery or outside and below a country’s employment laws and minimum wages, respectively, etc. The end goal in all of this is always to “easily/cheaply” generate money for an “owner”/”master” who controls various “capital”. In the same way, pre-civil war Southerners in the U.S. did not engage in the slave trade and slave labour simply because they hated black people, as some Capitalists would much prefer to think’, but because they needed a profitable and cheap way to cultivate their fields. So they abused of the fact that Africans were then not on the same intellectual level as them (due mainly to virtually a complete absence of even basic intellectual education in Africa then[4]), to subjugate and exploit them. Indeed abusing of, and exploiting, one’s position of weakness and/or need is always the cornerstone for realizing an enslaving situation. That is, e.g., why, as the Bible says: “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave.” (Pro 22:7). (See, here, here, here, here and onwards, the accurate understanding of the commonly misunderstood, and thus mis-interpreted/applied “Curse of Canaan” of Gen 9:25-27).
            By simply thinking the implications of Sunday Laws in our present context, where, as the Bible says, ‘one will not be able to buy, nor sell’ (Rev 13:17), it can be readily seen that, as the SOP says, ‘some resistors will be treated as slaves.’ If one cannot buy, nor sell, then it is absolutely useless for them to have employment because they cannot do anything with the money that they would earn. So to continue to work would mean that they would essentially be ‘working for nothing.’ However if then it will be possible/legal to take someone’s life because they do not accept the Mark of the Beast, how much more simpler and “beneficial” will it be to physically force such people to work for you for nothing, and at the threat of death for refusal or improper compliance. Indeed it would be uncharacteristic of Capitalists, and then “wholly unrestricted” Capitalists, to allow such a opportunity of profitable labour to go to“waste”, -particularly, more “justifiably”, for SDA’s who then are in some financial debt. Like all slaves, including U.S. slaves, these “enslaved employees” would be strictly given the absolute life-sustaining necessities of: minimum food and shelter in order to preserve their ‘working health “value”’. So slavery would indeed be effectively, if not by its actual, inherent definition, fully revived, for economic profiteering is indeed the root, if not sole, purpose of all enslavement. Otherwise slaves would simply be kept around an owners house as some sort of living decoration and not ever be put to profitable work. This full SOP fulfillment would then most probably not be in the literal ‘Southern and racial’ way that was pointedly stated by EGW in the expectation of a fulfillment in her times. So Jerry Finneman is indeed quite wrong to literalistically try to continue to so apply this SOP passage today. Like OT prophecies concerning the future glory of Israel have had for the most part to be spiritually applied to the New Israel of the NT Church, this thematic fulfillment of such SOP predictions does not make the EGW and her prophecies, “false”, but conversely quite perceptive in their continued possible application, thus indicating their underlying Divine Wisdom and Source.
            What is also, and even more, troubling about the statement of Finneman is that, in evidently and attempt to bolster his literalistic SOP understanding here, he makes the gleeful, yet completely baseless and false, statement that ‘the Bible says absolutely nothing against slavery;... but simply regulates it.’ That indeed is, thirdly, “Exegetically” completely false and stains the very character of God. When this slavery topic in the Bible is properly, i.e., exegetically studied, thus involving the pertinent larger socio-economic context of Ancient Israel, it becomes clear that God is against, ‘getting something without participating, to the best of one’s capabilities, in the needed work expended to obtain this/these good(s) and/or service(s). That is why “indentured servitude” was established and upheld by God as explicit laws. On the one hand, God wanted His people to be generous with their increase, wealth and possession, and that no one would suffer poverty in Israel. So anyone with over abundant means was supposed to defaultly meet the needs of anyone else who became poor (through either a death of a father or mother or physical loss). On the other hand, God wanted that the recipient of this generosity was supposed to somehow pay back this aid, and if this could not be done over time, and that within 7 years, (otherwise either the aid was overly excessive and probably predatory, or the condition of poverty was justifiably not rectifiable, and/or aggravated since), then that person was to compensatorily required to offer their manual labour to pay back this aid/debt.[5]
            So God did not at all endorse, nor shy away from, condemning slavery.[6] In fact it could be defended that racial slavery, per se, was never an issue in Bible times. Nationalistic (i.e., conquered peoples) and social class slavery however was a norm, and the Bible was clearly against especially the later, especially amongst Israelites. Also, indentured servitude does not even begin to be “slavery” at all. It really is a requirement/constraint to repay an incurred debt. It is only if/when indentured servitude became oppressive, i.e., exacting more than what one owe or can possibly repay, that it literally becomes “slavery”, and God had much to say against this abuse and aberration.
            Also, why does Jerry Finneman literally “needs” the Bible to effectively be: ‘not at all opposed to (racial) slavery’?!? It is solely so that his own, and limited view of that SOP statement can be literalistically fulfilled! This all is like the self-justified racist attitudes that Southern Whites had and who wrongly cited the Bible as the justification for the enslavement of Africans. It is indeed amazing what one is willing to falsely believe, even base and inherently evil views, in order to uphold a “supposedly” higher and more “authoritative” view. With the U.S. slave owner’s, this was ‘economic prosperity vs. Human Rights and Freedom’; in the case of Jerry Finneman this is ‘a private view on an SOP statement vs. God, His Just Character, and the Bible! Notice that EGW no where says in the Southern Work statement: “I was shown that...” so this may simply all have been a keen, cause-to-effect, deductive observation of hers in regards to how slavery will most probably be revived by still “seething” people in the Southern States; indeed probably in the same way as it was shown here in this post just how slavery can easily and even ‘justifiably” be effectively revived in our times in the context of passed National Sunday Laws, and thus in fulfillment of such SOP statements. (See a related comment on the SOP’s statement in EW 276.1 on the eternal fate of ‘ignorant, brute slaves’ here.).

To Be Added To...

Some Exegetical Snippets

Gen 15:6|Gal 3:6|Rom 4:3, 9, 21-22|James 2:23 - The singular statement in these passage which says that: "Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness" is often left out of a "Righteousness by Faith" discussion, however, especially NT writers, saw this as inherent/fundamental to the understanding of this teaching. Here, a slight paradigm shift based upon this foundational example of Abraham does indeed help to see this doctrine in its proper light. It results in the more accurate understanding of "Righteousness because of Faith." (cf. Rom 10:9-10) I.e., because Abraham chose to believe God in the incredible promise of having a son, in pertinently, his wife's past-childbearing age, and because he simultaneously also chose to believe that he would possess the land of Canaan and become a vast nation in it, and he concretely acted on this belief as he set off on a quite precarious sojourn from his homeland towards this promised Land, then, despite some faults along this journey, because he held on to this faith and concretely pursued the promise, even through an ultimate test in the requested sacrifice of the now nearly adult-aged Promised son, ‘Righteousness was credited to him because of this concrete, persisted and proven Faith.' Otherwise it would have been, (and would be), by works. (Cf. this post for more (“Abraham” Section); also: this 2009 sermon by Mark Howard pointedly on this underemphasized element in the RBF discussion).

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 - The response to Paul's prayer about his "thorn in the flesh" is often, rather, poetically, quoted, but is it really accurately understood. Succinctly said here, as the key Greek word here charis does not strictly mean "sin-forgiving/pardoning grace" but actually "great, even unmerited, favor" what God told Paul in this response was that: ‘His great favor that was being bestowed on Paul through the many "great revelations" he was receiving was sufficient for him.' (Indeed Paul's pivotal and radical writings and theology has greatly helped to focus and guide the theology of the New Covenant that was established by Christ.) He thus did not need any additional human strength or skills to more powerfully convey these revelations for indeed ‘power is more fully recognized in weakness.' Paul praised God for these weaknesses of his, which he now understood did not at all hinder his ministry, but made his contributions more directly attributable to God (vs. 9b), especially with those who wanted to see through these superficial weaknesses.

A similar ‘fuller power in weakness' was seen when God chose the "weakest of the weak" for an end-time prophetic ministry in Ellen White. She repeatedly complained of not being more skilled, educated, or a (Biblical) scholar, yet her writings and counsels were in this way similarly seen as being Divinely as what she said consistently passed the test of scrutiny and scholarly examination, even in temporal (e.g., scientific) matters. (See some Biblical exegesis examples in this post).

Galatians 3:28-29 (Contra Futurist-Dispensationalism) - "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise." (Gal 3:29 & vss. 7-9; cf. Rom 2:28-29; Eph 3:4-6) What Promise? The enduring promise given to Abraham in Gen 12:1-3 (Rom 4:13-25; cf. vss. 9-12; cf. Heb 11:8, 9). The New Testament (i.e., Covenant) Church is God's enduring Israel. (Jer 31:31-33 = Heb 10:16).

The Order of the Temptations of Christ (Matt 4:1-11 vs Luke 4:1-13) - Some may have noticed that there is an apparent contradiction between Matthew's and Luke's gospels concerning the sequential order of Christ's temptations. Matthew has what would be a 1-2-3 order (Matt 4:3f; 5, 6f; 8ff); while Luke has a 1-3-2 order (Luke 4:3f; 5, 6ff; 9ff). What appears to have been the case here, based on a comparative study of various Greek manuscripts of these passages, is that Jesus was not tempted only 3 times but actually 4 times, but with only three temptations. Temptation #3 (bowing before the devil to (painlessly) regain the kingdoms of the world) was apparently brought before Jesus twice (Matt 4:8ff & Luke 4:5ff). This is made evident by the following 4 textual and contextual indications succinctly, simply listed here: (1) Textual evidence shows that Christ’s statement “Get thee behind Me, Satan!” was not said after the second Temptation as solely, in modern/common versions, the KJV wrongly indicates; (2) Matthew emphatically introduced his third (=4th) temptation with the term “again”; (3) unlike the other two temptations which are practically verbatim in both Matthew and Luke, the text of these 2nd (Luke 4:5) and 4th (Matt 4:8) temptations are not so similar; and (4) in the first mention of this 2nd temptation in Luke, Christ is “led up” (assumedly, physically to some high vantage point) and shown the kingdoms of the inhabited world’ (Greek: ‘oikoumene’), while in the renewed attempt with this 2nd (now 4th and heightened) temptation Christ is now taken to ‘an exceedingly high mountain and shown the kingdoms of the entire world/planet’ (Greek: ‘kosmos’). Matthew’s irregular, though purposely allowable, use of Greek present tenses for both the verbs: “took” (= “led up”) and “showed” is manifestly because they are syntactically functioning here as iterative presents in order to emphatically relate the once-“repeated” action for this re-tempting.

Investigative  Judgement - First of all, do, precursorily, see this exposition. Then, contrary to (false) “logic” with which many reject the Biblical (including the SOP) teaching of the Investigative Judgement, most significantly, so called, “Progressive Adventists” (who, at least, should, for objective, substantive reasons, be renamed “Redactive Adventists”), God is not waiting for the completion of the judgement on the Living in order to return (see e.g., the (spiritually shallow/moronic) “computational argument” made in this (Spectrum Magazine) article[7]), but rather, based on many Biblical passages such as 2 Pet 3:9, Ezek 33:11, Deut 30:19, He is actually waiting until all those who are alive around the globe equally come to full a first hand knowledge and understanding of what the final, eternal “life and death” issues are all about. Then a judgement on the living can begin to be completed. It is thus not surprising that those who already know these truths are the first to go through that judgement (cf. 1 Pet 4:17), indeed being judged by how they have responded to that fully understood light vs. the 6.5+ billion currently in the world who do not. So the investigative judgement, which probably has the power/capability to most transparently process hundreds of millions, even billions in a day, and, following partial previous, “investigations” may indeed have all still open/pending cases be entirely “wrapped up” in the short time between ‘the close of probation and Christ’s leaving of (the Sanctuary’s Most Holy in) Heaven to return,’ when then Jesus would have ceased His intercession for sinners (GC 613ff), may have been forced to trickle down to a Heavenly, most annoyingly, lethargic pace of the ca. 225,000 who die daily around the world, thus naturally closing/sealing their open/pending cases, being judged according to the light that they have come to know. So it is indeed pointedly because God’s people have not done what they can to make this final warning message be fully, thoroughly and properly known to the entire world, to every tribes, tongue, nation and people, that the Investigative Judgement is dragging on, and not “moronically” ‘because it makes no (Divine/Biblical) sense. Moreover, and quite probably, even worse, as the investigative judgement is pointedly for those who have claimed the name of Jesus while there is still a “pre-advent” judgement for others, apparently based on the prima facie case of their “works” (Rev 22:12) and thus not requiring the same amount of time and depth of deliberation as the investigative judgement, (e.g., go to trial vs. being summarily resolved), this all may indeed be much worse, where the Heavenly Intelligence is then awaiting for the Everlasting Gospel and the Three Angels Message (Rev 14:6-13) to be clearly and unequivocally made known amongst pointedly the world’s 2.2+ Billion Christian believers.  (EW 254.1)

The Biblical/Spiritual/Exegetical/Theological Logic of the Investigative Judgement
            Most Christians reject the teaching of the investigative judgement because they think it is unnecessary even contrary to New Testament theology. But the following succinct logic flow shows how it is clearly taught in the NT, based on pertinent/applicable parts of the rest of the Bible (cf. here):

-As serious Bible students just cannot deny, in 2 Cor 5:10 Paul clearly said that ‘all Christian must appear before the judgement seat of Christ. And that to ‘receive back’ (i.e., be given what is due) for either good or bad deeds done in the body.’

-While Paul says that people will also be receiving what is due for their bad actions, he is actually also clear that the Gospel involves ‘no penalty/condemnation for those who are in Christ’. (Rom 8:1).

-So something substitutionary and atoning must have occurred here in order to free the believer from receiving the penalty here, and that can only be the provision of the shed blood of Christ.

-Therefore, at that judgement “appearance”, Christ must be repeatedly applying the benefits of His sacrifice to believers. (=Zech 3:1-6|PK 582-592).  And so that judgement must also be determining who is truly worthy to receive these atoning benefits. (See e.g., Matt 7:21-23; 22:1-14; Rev 3:1-6; 16:15; 19:1-9; COL 307-319)

-Furthermore, as Christ executes judgement upon his appearing (Matt 16:27; Rev 22:12; 2 Thess 2:8), then this examination process must, (if the proper belief of the State of the Dead is understood), also take place prior to the Second Coming.

-Interestingly enough, the word “appear” actually is speaking more abstractly about something that is “revealed”/“made manifest”, in other words, ‘fully revealed’, and not pointedly to a physical appearance. So a literal/physical appearance is not being spoken of by the use of this word whereas an expression involving “stand” would.

-So the Judgement here is indeed a Pre-Advent, investigative judgement, where, for those who profess to be Christians, a determination will be made to see whether they can have the disculpating righteousness of Christ applied to them!! And those notions are indeed:

(1) typologically found in the Day of Atonement judgement of OT Israel; (See e.g., in here)
(2) starting at the timed prophetic event of Dan 8:14 (See from here);
(3) involving, as seen in snippets throughout the prophecies of Revelation, in the Heavenly Sanctuary/Temple mentioned there; and
(4) all according to the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ undeniably expounded upon throughout the book of Hebrews (by Paul).

-Relatedly, in this Dec.2013 SS presentation (mp4) [22:14-25:49ff], Doug Batchelor [as it has similarly also been pointed out by Steve Wohlberg here [32:06-34:40] (2006)] Biblically (e.g., Eph 2:19; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; 1 Pet 2:5; John 2:19-21/(cf. Mark 14:58) = Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18, 24) rightly makes prominent the otherwise merely tacitly inherently claimed Theological fact that what had to (also) be “cleansed/set right” starting at the end of the 2300 days on/around October 22, 1844, was, as also stated in here from Lev 16:7-10, 20-22 : “the saints/believers in Christ” themselves and not only/merely a tangible (Heavenly) sanctuary. Indeed they are also those who had been ‘cast down and trampled over’ during the 538-1798 A.D. reign of the Little Horn power. (cf. here). Starting around that time God did indeed begin to cleanse, set aright and set apart a special “Remnant” people which would restore that True Church/Temple/Body of Christ.
            Interestingly enough, as seen in this document, William Miller himself had from comprehensive Biblical study seriously considered “the saints” as the possible fulfillment for the 2300. (See his point “VII. p. 7”). He however opted for the, actually inherently erroneously considered: “VI. pp. 5-7 Earth” choice.



Matthew 10:23 - Contrary to my own prior not fully accurate understanding of the statement of Christ in this verse (cf. here), based on the NASB rendering as:

“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.”

which had led me to understand that Jesus was expecting that His ‘Coming/Establishment in Glory’ would have “soon” occurred, and that even before His sent out disciples would have completed their evangelizing mission in the cities of Israel, an exegetically more accurate translation as:

“But whenever they may persecute you in one city, [I order you to] flee to another; for truly I say to you, you may not finish the cities of Israel, so that the Son of Man may come.”

            So Jesus was instead saying that it was necessary that His disciples not waste time in cities that rejected their Gospel proclamation, but instead readily go to another city, because a ‘soon coming (in Glory) of the Son of Man’ depended on them first thoroughly completing (cf. Matt 24:14/Mar 6:11, -as still bindingly applicable today) this proclamation throughout (first) Israel (Matt 10:5-6).
            So then why didn’t that “Coming” occur when those 12 disciples (Matt 10:5 & 11:1a|Mar 6:7a|Luke 9:1a) returned, and apparently had gone through all of those cities (Luke 9:6, 10a)?? Apparently the message was not well received in those cities. (And this is manifestly why Jesus, now in the third year of His public ministry, then instituted, and sent out, 70 other disciples (Luke 10:1ff), a number that is representative of Judgement (vs. the previous kingdom/Church leadership number of 12), also then making mention of, manifestly, cities which had rejected the ministry of the previously sent out Twelve (Luke 10:13-16 cf. Matt 11:16-30)). And as with a modern democratic referendum vote today, quite apparently, not enough people in Israel had favorably “voted” for Christ’s Gospel message, which fundamentally necessitated a repentance (Mar 6:12: cf. 1:15; Matt 3:2; 4:17 -for Israel then did have many sinful ways that they needed to repent of.) to warrant that God effectuate a glorious establishment of the Messiah in Israel then. Manifestly God saw that they were only shallowly interested in the outward signs and/or the miracles, but did not want to repent of their sinful ways. (Cf. John 6:24-34) Indeed when Christ’s call was later veiledly told them what this professed “belief” in Him would, actually tangibly, come to entail, (John 6:35-51) which was that they “ingestingly”, thus bodily, (cf. Ezek 2:8-3:4ff|Rev 10:8-11) wholly/fully partake of both His words (= Gospel Teachings), thus practising them, and (flesh) Sacrifice (= extend the same self-sacrificial love for others - cf. Mar 12:31|John 15:13); they could/would not substantiate that, thus superficially, priorly professed “belief” in Him, which thus was indeed merely for what they could get for themselves out of Jesus, and thus could penetrate the Spiritual meanings in those words. (John 6:52-66). Only His disciples who resolutely maintained their faith in Him stayed with Him. (John 6:67-69).
            So still in harmony with a derived conclusion from my prior understanding in regards to the circumstances involved in Matt 10:23, it is then that Jesus began to realize that things were not going to gloriously transpire with this unrepentant Israel, as He initially, and properly/rightly, thought (cf. Mark 1:14-15; Matt 4:12-17), and so from that time on He indeed began speaking that He was going to be merely/solely delivered up as a Sacrifice* (see Matt 16:21|Mar 8:31-32a|Luke 9:21, 43b-45). Indeed it was apparently so as to not accelerate that “death end” that Jesus warned His disciples not to tell anyone that He was ‘the Messiah, the Son of the Living God’ (Matt 16:16, 20|Luke 9:20-21; cf. Matt 26:63-66) as this would then necessitate many convincingly “tipping” miraculous interventions in order to counter those efforts (e.g., John 8:58-59; 10:29-39). It is also from then that Jesus first spoke of establishing His (own) Church (= New Israel) (Matt 16:17-18).

            Indeed this sudden and most pivotal change in God’s dealing with Israel then, in the light of the now concretely indicated rejection of Christ’s Gospel, by, most significantly, also the people themselves, -giving deference to the dissuading words of their religious leaders (DA 489.4), resulted in God here giving Jesus a vision of the alternative plans from then on. He was thus given a vision of how He would still be victorious and pointedly come to defeat Satan in this GC battle (Luke 10:18), but now through the Sacrificial ordeal of the Cross. (John 12:23-35ff; DA 761.2-3). Jesus then began to share these things, with here, their victorious implication, with these faithful 70, and then, as mentioned above, the Cross themes with His closer inner circle of the 12. Indeed these faithful ones were from then on privileged to know and understand this new and pivotal, Kingdom of God themes. (Luke 10:19-24). (See DA 490.1-495.4).

* As also expounded on as a possibility in this post, had the Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah, He would have been, then and there, enthroned on David’s Throne (cf. Luke 1:32-33), however they then would, under here a best case scenario, still in faith, indeed choosing to swallow their pride, voluntarily offer Him up to die as a sacrifice for, pointedly the Second Death Penalty of Sin, and have faith that God would raise up this Great King of theirs on the “third day.”


Some Recommended Resources
          
2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
            One of the things that SDA Preachers/scholars, and even acceptibly, the laity, have been relatively good at historically, has been studies that involve (albeit surface) historicity, especially when done in defence of a particular prophecy/doctrine. It is a shame that in-depth scholarly, textual and linguistic exegesis is not joined to this historicity. 
            Still, in this light: the “power” that is said to be “restraining” in 2 Thess 2:6-7 is unequivocally not the “Holy Spirit”, as it is effectively, blindly/mindless, commonly preached, but actually the then ruling Pagan Roman Empire, vs. the prophesied, then coming, Papally ruled Roman Empire. Giving credit where credit is apparently due, see the excellent presentation of Steven Wohlberg on this topic in his Antichrist Chronicles series; Presentation #6. (For other Biblical Prophetic Interpretations as to who the (Historical/First Part (=Rev 13:1-10); {-the complimentary Eschatological/Second Part (=Rev 13:11-18 is mentioned next}) of the “Antichrist” entity is see (e.g.) this documentary, and the evangelistic presentations by: David Asscherick here+here and here+here; Ron Clouzet here; and Kameron Devasher here+here; and (esp.) Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4 from Stephen Bohr’s, protracted, expanded and furthered, 12-part (+PDF) ‘Second Coming/Eschatology’ series; this (College) paper [for Bacchiocchi’s class], -based on this sourcing reference.).
            By the way, as discussed in this post on Rev 17 & 18, this manifestation of the “lawless one” (2 Thess 2:3-4) as understood by Paul, fulfills the literal, Historical religious/ explicit worship aspect and first phase (=Dan 7:8, 11, 20-21; 24b-25; 8:9-14) of the Religio-Economico Antichrist Power which will fully be this Spiritual Babylon (= Rev 13:1:10 -see here & Rev 13:11-19 -see here). This full development will, (potentially for at least the near future, -which is the present wave of Eschatological/‘Fuller Sabbath’ prophetic fulfillments), Spiritually fulfill the prophetic revelations given in the SOP, (e.g., in the Great Controversy book). The ensuing Final form manifestation as related in 2 Thess 2:8-12 will, as warned in the related SOP insight in EW 266-269 (see also this forum posting); be achieved by Satan’s most cunning work, then (i.e., now) taking into full consideration the state of affairs then, and will indeed not “carelessly” manifest itself in the way currently expected by SDA’s (cf. 6T 17.1-2), i.e., not a literal Sunday Sacredness preaching, Miracle Worker; but rather a Spurious-Sabbatical-Truth, thus Capitalism-Endorsing, World-Needs-Partially-Meeting, Socio-Economic Power. Sort of (“Religiously”-enforced) Philanthrocapitalism. Indeed anything to undermine God’s True and Full Sabbatical Truth. (See more in this post on Rev 17:11).

The Works and Ministry of Samuel K. Pipim (Ph.D)
Dr. Pipim is (of course, pre-fall/lapse-excluding (cf. here)....Really!????) one of the best examples of how a degree from SDA Theological Seminary should integrally and relevantly translate into practical and educational ministry to Church Members, especially in our day and “age,” i.e., this “Age of UnReason”. See his: Website, Books, Audio and/or Video Sermons. (....And, ironically enough, his fall was itself an act “unreason”.).


The Works and Ministry of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi (Ph.D.)
            In this line of given credit where credit is due, the scholarly works of the late Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi of 16+ books and hundreds of articles are quite certainly, most valuable resources to any Bible Student’s library. As it was said at his funeral: “A great tree has fallen in Israel.”[8] Dr. Bacchiocchi’s writings can be purchased, and some accessed, on his still-maintained and operated, Biblical Perspectives website.

            Video of Dr. Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath Enrichment Seminars, including his thrilling testimony of his highly commended studies at the Vatican’s Pontifical Gregorian University (the first and, as a result, only Protestant to do so) have been posted, and can be downloaded from, this website:

Seminar Topics (with links)
 
1 - My search for the Sabbath at Vatican University (see also here and here)
2 - The Sabbath as time for service (see also here)
3 - Divine rest for human restlessness (see also here and here) 
4 - The Sabbath under crossfire part I (see also here)
5 - The Sabbath under crossfire part II (see also here and here)
6 - From Sabbath to Sunday: How it came about? (see also here and here)

   A more recent video of Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath Seminar, on DVD, is available for purchase from his website on this page.

            Some of the following books of Dr. Bacchiocchi are available online for viewing and/or downloading: [Click on Titles]

From Sabbath to Sunday
 [PDF]
The Sabbath in the New Testament [PDF]
The Sabbath Under Crossfire  [PDF]
Divine Rest For Human Restlessness [PDF]
God’s Festivals In Scripture and History - Part 1 (Spring Festivals) [PDF]
God’s Festivals In Scripture and History - Part 2 (Fall Festivals) [PDF]
Immortality or Resurrection [PDF]
The Advent Hope For Human Hopelessness [PDF]
Wine In the Bible [PDF]
Wine In the Bible (Abridged) [PDF]
The Time of the Crucifixion [PDF]
Women in the Church [PDF]
The Marriage Covenant [PDF]
Hal Lindsey's Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle [PDF]
Christian Dress and Adornment [PDF]
The Christian and Rock Music [PDF]


Christian Apologetics Seminar
The following ASI 2010 seminar by Subodh Pandit (MD) entitled “Come Search With Me—Let's Look For God” is an interesting view of the defense of the validity of the Christian Faith. As Pandit states, this is the product of 20+ years of his personal journey and observations as an “inquirer” (a.k.a “seeker”) and indeed does approach these issues from an “honest” perspective. See: Streaming Video [mp4] [mp3] [book].




Free Online 3ABN Programs Archive
 Thousands of programs aired on the Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) are archived online at
this website, and can be freely downloaded (in the “avi” video format). See also this 3ABN Video download site (which has the .wmv format).


New SDA Study Bible - Review
            So SDA scholars have finally produced a Study Bible, the 12,000-note [John Nevin] Andrews Study Bible. (See this book of Acts online sample). For this literary achievement alone that is great, however it is still wanting. First of all, the underlying text is that of the New King James Version (NJKV) and secondly, these notes and comments are mainly non-exegetical. Unfortunately, this is a bad combination given that, for starters, the NKJV is roughly said, in my opinion, ca. 80% accurate in regards to having properly rendered the underlying original Hebrew and Greek text, let alone manuscript issues. This is compared to the New American Standard Bible (NASB) (1995) which is, again in my opinion, rougly ca. 90-95% accurate. It is not usually the role of a Study Bible to engage in exegetical commentary, however simply using the NASB as the underlying text would have been the best, and most responsible, thing to for this SDA publisher and these SDA scholars to have done as people entrusted with rightly “teaching God’s flocks,” however more costly it may be to obtain these rights from the NASB’s Lockman Foundation, (if any?). (Cf. e.g, this 25,000 (also much more detailed)-note NASB Study Bible by popular and/or well-known Evangelical preacher John MacArthur, of the Grace to You ministry.[9])
            The NKJV may have been selected by these SDA Publishers because it is a popular version, especially among SDA, many of whom still long for a penitent return to the Bible that Paul used, the King James Version, however, just like a parent wouldn’t be hailed as a responsible if they bought corn chips and soda for their children’s breakfast, because ‘that is the children’s favorite snack food,’ these SDA leaders should have used the most accurate Bible version available today for this production.
            And just in case the following also applies, even if implicitly: “If your (traditional/historical/preferred) doctrines, teachings and/or prophetic understandings cannot be sustained with proper (i.e., in exhaustive and comprehensive depth) exegetical Biblical studies, then guess what... it is these views that are unBiblical, and not vice versa.
            So now with this “major task” accomplished, these SDA scholars can now turn to updating and/or publishing, in the light of recent Scholarly Biblical Research and Studies along with new (i.e., more precise) understandings, especially in Biblical Languages, a new Biblical Commentary set to update/replace the ones (PDF {6730 pages|138MB}) that were published, and updated sometime between 1953 and 1980;  i.e., as far back as somewhere between 64 to 37 years ago! (In fact, the best that they will be doing in that “commentary” regard is a 2015 one-volume (1800 pages) ASB companion, Andrews Bible Commentary surely to, patronizingly and/or naturally/sequiturly, be as intellectually daft as the ASB.)


“Will My Pet Be In Heaven??”
To this question that is commonly asked, (see e.g, here and here), to my God-awed surprise, upon an exegetical analysis of Rom 8:19-21, it appears that God will, resurrect, at the very least, animals, who like humans had been given God’s breath of life, and who, also by being “living being” (see e.g., Gen 1:20, 21,24, 30; 2:[7], 19), similarly thus have a formable/shapeable “psyche” (=”soul character”). See this view expressed, [challenged] and defended in more details in this Forum thread discussion: Posts #134588; [#134597]; #134602; [#134736]; #134758.


Post Script (October 9, 2012): That priorly/formerly said... I am quasi-conversely equally also theologically “awed” by God that He probably may necessarily not allow present animals/pets to be allowed into Heaven/The New Earth, as it was “incontrovertibly” (i.e., without a possible alternative spiritual fulfilment) revealed to Ernie Knoll in this dream (paragraph 12), which I “testingly” (=1 Thess 5:19-22) believe was also ‘prophetically from God’, that though there will be animals and personal pets in the New Earth (see in this dream (par. 4&5)), they will not be resurrected animals from this world. And the reason I see this to indeed be the Theological case is that, although animals have a psyche, they actually cannot repent of sinful actions, and thus cannot work to better their character. And since ‘a character is the only thing that we will be taking from this world to the next’ (COL 332.3), God will not be able to “brainwash” these animals into having a Godly character. Indeed, if God (sanely/knowingly) held the serpent accountable for having allowed Satan to use him to deceive Eve (Gen 3:13-14), it was evidently because animals could make knowing decision however they manifestly cannot intelligently repent through a knowing understanding of the Gospel.
            Pertinently, I have personally long observed that however “intelligent”, loving and faithful an animal/pet may seem to be, they are really basely actuated and controlled by selfish motives, i.e., what they must do in order to meet/satisfy one of their wants or needs. That is why e.g., one can silence a ferocious guard dog (not pointedly trained against this tactic) by simply feeding him a juicy cut of meat. And so, as selfishness is the Chief of Sins (see in this post), and the primary reason why this GC is going on, then God cannot allow such non-converted psyches in a realm where there will be no Selfishness. It can also be seen that if God considered animals to be so valuable or “redeemable” as with humans (cf. Gen 9:5-6[10]), then He would not have permitted man to quasi-wantonly put them to death for various reason such as food and even sacrifices (Gen 8:20-21; 9:1-4). And this all actually represents the fact that it is indeed because of man’s fall/sin that animals have so quasi-wantonly die for various reasons, and that in order to facilitate the survival of man in now a sinful/broken world.
            So I would have to lay aside any ‘loving emotional’ thinking here and yield to such a Biblically incontrovertible prophetic testimony. (=1 Cor 14:1)


Notes
[1] Overall that Anchors of Truth Series on “Doctrines That Divide” (see 1st of 5 starting here), which, commendedly, addressed several (but not all) of the main passages which are given against SDA Beliefs was still, at best, ca. 70-80% accurate or correct (i.e., on average ca. 7-8 out of 10 per each of those presentations*). And it is that 20-30% of still spurious and shoddy answers that is still quite lethal to the cause of incontrovertible (Exegetical) Biblical Truth; and his “anchor” here is correspondingly neither weighty enough and/or properly fastened to stop the Supercargo Ship of unbiblical teachings.

* As it [manifestly, perhaps now only] was [see herein the case with/against David Gates, with Doug Batchelor, it continuingly is not merely the substantive inaccuracies and errors that is the main spiritual problem, but, e.g., like King Saul of old (1 Sam 15:17-19, it is the egregious, pride-based knowing, “moronically” slothful indifference to doing the work/effort that is required to not so mislead his entrusted “flock” (Ezek 34:1-16; 18MR 247.1). (cf. here).  And in the same category of Gates’ patent guilefulness, Batchelor himself similarly uses various, reverse-psychological, hoodwinking, con-artist ploys, such as mainly (dismissive) humor (as, at least priorly, patently expressed with a “Caveman Theology” misdirection), to try to get people to knowingly swallow those, actually, Spiritually speaking, cyananidal capsules.

[2] Also in this moronically, mindless end of studying/preaching the Bible is the seemingly exegetical, allegorical approach which treats the Bible like a, join-the-dot, cross-word puzzle with the English text; and as a textual derivative of the infamous Bible Code with its original languages (e.g., especially, lately, as a full-on development, Ivor Myers, and to a lesser extent and also in recent sermons, Peter Gregory).* What is resultingly presented seems to be true because of the surfacely conjectured, subjective connectedness, that, proportionally enough, mixes a literal exegesis with a subjective eisegesis, with, no less, SOP quotes to support these confused, unrooted conclusion. (Added to this, in Ivor Myers’ case, is the reverse-psychological ploy of repeatedly literally, faultingly, laughing at his audience who do not, even in advance, decipher his arbitrary (overstating) reasonings!??). The Early Church “Fathers” (=Scholars) went this “popular” route and it led nowhere but into spiritual blindness and Babylonian confusion, particularly by causing true Biblical exegesis to be undone. (See the excellent GYC 2011 Seminar entitled: Revelation, Inspiration, and Interpretation: Keys to Understanding Scriptureby Chester Clark IIIwhich includes great expositions on this very important Biblical Hermeneutics issue.).

*Apparently this “desperate”, Spiritually glib, attention getting/captivating gimmick is getting to be quite popular and contagious in SDA Circles: E.g., Alden Ho [see his testimony here (video)] in this 2011 sermon [ca. 43:17-47:37], who claims that there is a significant Spiritual meaning in the name “Ellen Gould Harmon/White” as: Ellen (in Ancient Greek, means sun-ray/light); Gould is a variant of the surname “Gold”, and, her first last name Harmon (subjectively) ‘means “soldier of peace”’ [actually, derivedly, straightly means “warrior” which can help bring about peace], and then her married name “White” is synonymous with “purity”.’ And so, according to Ho, this fulfills the three remedying elements mentioned in Rev 3:18! Wow!!! To say the least! His “Ellen G. Why?” sermon title involved much more than he thought, i.e., ‘“Why” was she given the prophetic gift for the Remnant Church = ‘Because she happen to have the perfect name, and then married a person with a right last name....’ And unlike OT parents who would many times and almost defaultly deliberately, aspirationally name their children as almost a prayer for God to (prophetically) use then in such capacity (e.g, Elijah - “Yahweh is my God” ), I highly doubt that Ellen Gould Harmon’s parents had all of that “in mind” for her, particularly in those days when, as seen in the selection of EGW herself, women then did not deemly nor actually have an authoritative role in society. So...Whatever!!! I guess God would have really been handcuffed if either Hazen Foss or William Foy had been faithful to their prophetic calling. Interestingly enough the only way in which his theory finds an application is that, as with this purported significant switch from “Harmon” to “White”, the SDA Church went from a Church ‘seeking/practising “harmonizing” Brotherly Love’ to one instead sectarianly seeking individual righteousness to the exclusion of brotherly love, which includes due, actual, love of their “neighbor” (Luke 10:25-29ff).

[3] Along these lines EGW says: “There is one point that I wish to lay before those who work in the Southern field. Among the colored people they will have to labor in different lines from those followed in the North. They cannot go to the South and present the real facts in reference to Sundaykeeping being the mark of the beast, and encourage the colored people to work on Sunday; for the same spirit that held the colored people in slavery is not dead, but alive today, and ready to spring into activity. The same spirit of oppression is still cherished in the minds of many of the white people of the South, and will reveal itself in cruel deeds, which are the manifestation of their religious zeal. Some will oppose in every possible way any action which has a tendency to uplift the colored race and teach them to be self-supporting.
     "When the whites show an inclination to help the colored people by educating them to help themselves, a certain class of the white people are terribly annoyed. They do not want the colored people to earn an independent living. They want them to work their plantations. The Southern Work, [SW] 66-67)

And also:

“there is no more fruitful field than the South. It is the prejudice of the white against the black race that makes this field hard, very hard. The whites who have oppressed the colored people still have the same spirit. They did not lose it, although they were conquered in war. They are determined to make it appear that the blacks were better off in slavery than since they were set free. Any provocation from the blacks is met with the greatest cruelty. ” (SW 83)

[4] EGW also makes this point by saying: “The whole system of slavery was originated by Satan, who delights in tyrannizing over human beings. Though he has been successful in degrading and corrupting the black race, many are possessed of decided ability, and if they were blessed with opportunities, they would show more intelligence than do many of their more favored brethren among the white people. Thousands may now be uplifted, and may become agents by which to help those of their own race.” (SW 61).
            She also says: “During the days of slavery the colored people were not generally taught to read, because through this accomplishment they became more fully awake to the degradation of their condition. In attaining knowledge, their desire was increased to have liberty, that they might still further pursue their search for knowledge.” (SW 46).
[5] Some may “moronically” see here a justification for capitalism, where ‘one could righteously amass as much personal wealth as possible while others live in relative poverty,’ however the Bible is plain that God did not approve of such economic inequality (cf. Luke 3:11; Isa 58:7; Luke 18:22), as seen in the distribution and collection of the Manna. (see 2 Cor 8:7-15). The Divine principle was that, e.g., if an Israelite had e.g, more than enough oxen to plow his field and thus caused him to thrive economically, while some of his neighbors had none, and thus suffered greatly from this absence of work animals in providing a livelihood, then this rich owner was expected to lend, loan or sell his extra animals to his neighbors who were to seek to pay him back for this “aid” during the next 7 years, and that without interest. Indeed if these recipients put these animal to good use, they surely would have been able to pay back their debt, and within that time. So, in this way, the economic plan that God had ordained for His people would cause that all Israel would most equally benefit from the advance of any single member of the nation. How far, and long-lost, is this concept today in this cut-throat, interest-oppressive, grossly disproportionate Capitalistic world, even amongst professed Christians, and also SDAs. (See in this blog post for more on this most crucial Religio-economic issue).

[6] On some of the teachings of the Apostle Paul, indeed found in “the Bible”, the SOP says: “It was not the apostle's work to overturn arbitrarily or suddenly the established order of society. To attempt this would be to prevent the success of the gospel. But he taught principles which struck at the very foundation of slavery and which, if carried into effect, would surely undermine the whole system. (AA 459, 460).

[7] “Relatedly” cf. this altercation incident, -though Spectrum is not responsible for individual choices and belief of (reading) SDA members, nor does it authoritatively determine SDA Church policy/belief, therefore that outburst of claimed: “Phinehas action/“violence”” (Num 25:6-9ff) was moronically completely uncalled for, not to mention criminal. And in the claimed ‘Phinehas precedence’: (1) Phinehas executed judgement on the pointed guilty party, moreover in the provedly, very act, and not a relatively “random” person; and (2) as adultery was Legally punishable by capital punishment he had the lawful right to execute this judgement, and he did so with proof. So that person in that incident with a Spectrum Magazine report only had the “right” to file a lawsuit for whatever claimed legal grievance he believed he had against the (protected free speech) publication(s) of Spectrum and not physically assault a reporter from Spectrum. Or, at the very least, he could have started a writing ministry to expose all of the claimed falsities being published by Spectrum Magazine.

[8] By William E. Richardson - Andrews University. (The video of the funeral service for Dr. Bacchiocchi had been posted on his website (biblicalperspectives.com). 

[9] 
And by now (i.e., November 5, 2012), having seen the Andrews Study Bible’s Notes, I can informedly say, versus, by prior suspicions, that, exegetical point-for-point, the MacArthur Study Bible is (LOL) at least 10X better than what SDA “Scholars” have produced. Perfect, comprehensively emblematic case in point: on Matt 2:2, first of all the NASB is more accurate here in translating the aorist puncticularly as: “saw” instead of the NJKV’s quasi-enduring: “have seen”. Now, as SDAs (should) know, the SOP says, as discussed in here, that:

‘the star was not a fixed star nor a planet, but a distant company of shining angels.’ (DA 60.1)

Here is what the MacArthur Study Bible, through exegesis says:

“This could not have been a supernova or a conjunction of planets, as some modern theories suggest, because of the way the star moved and settled over one place (cf. v. 9). It is more likely a supernatural reality similar to the Shekinah that guided the Israelites in the days of Moses (Ex 13:21).”

Here is what the SDA Andrews Study Bible says:

{chirping crickets}

            You’d think, as from what I understand the purpose of that: SDA [Scholar John Nevin] Andrews Study Bible was to be, such an exegetically observable point would have been made. But no...absolutely nothing. And, if even anything at all, with its patent platitude of no brainer, and amateurishly dullard, shallow comments, it factually is a complete waste of money and expended Church resources.
            Indeed just notice the overall, naturally “showing up” contrast between the MacArthur Study Bible (MSB) and the SDA’s Andrews Study Bible (ASB). Virtually, if not literally, as the credit states, one person composed the MSB, the ASB lists over 26 people so-called SDA Scholars, (not to mention an entire denomination with over 100 universities - as bolsteringly dropped by the ASB), who contributed to its composition and content. And I got the MSB absolutely free, with, unlike any free offer of the ASB, no pre-met condition/strings attached, such as attending the first 10 night of the Net 2011 meetings (which in my case would have cost me much more in gas money to travel those 10 nights to the nearest local SDA church which had those meetings, -which were actually freely available on the internet) or no “[entity/ministry] enrollment/subscription/support-type” of requirements. And I actually got two MSBs for free, one NASB and later an ESV (which I gave to my father). Even the ASB’s often lauded/touted ‘bargain selling price’ does not compare to the “+10X better” MSB: i.e., (harcovers) ASB $44.99 - MSB now $26.25 (priorly $35.00)!
            I frankly do not know what is more pathetic, the ASB product itself or seeing SDA proudly pat themselves (vs. lay purchasers - see e.g. in “Praise” section in here) on the back for this “great achievement”....Oh wait... I know what is...: BOTH!!!

[10] In manifest fact, the whole post-Flood permission by God for man then eat meat was a just trade off, in that the Earth had become so damaged by the Flood that agriculture would not be the same, and thus food would be more scare for man, thus threatening their very life and survival. So God justly permitted man to take the life of an animal to most effectively preserve/sustain their own, but as God pointed out, that, even emergency, life-taking would not be without a just cost, as the taken life of the animal would be ‘taken from’ the possible longevity of man. (Gen 9:5).
            And just as animals today, typically have a shorter life span then man, it was probably that after the fall, animal then also died much sooner then the up to ca. 1000 year living man. So the life-reckoning that God did upon man for these animals was thus accounted as merely small fractional percentages in man’s life.  And conversely, God may likewise have/be shortening the life of an animal which causes harm or death to man (cf. Gen 3:14).

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